In Chip Kelly's introductory press conference he told the media that one of the reasons the San Francisco 49ers were so appealing was their quarterback situation. Colin Kaepernick has the skill set that fits Kelly's offense perfectly while Blaine Gabbert is a capable starter. The issue is that Kaepernick reportedly wants out of the franchise, but with no interest a trade is unlikely.
The New York Daily News first reported that Kaepernick wanted out of San Francisco with the New York Jets as a potential landing spot. Sources reported that Kaepernick felt betrayed by the organization and has not made contact yet with Kelly after he was hired as the head coach. The issue is that the Jets favor bringing back Ryan Fitzpatrick and do not appear interested in striking a trade deal for another quarterback.
Kelly told the media that he is not interested in trading Kaepernick. The quarterback is made to run the type of offense the head coach likes, but if he is unhappy the 49ers might not have another choice.
"Obviously Kap is an extremely talented football player and you need a good quarterback to win," Kelly said, via NJ.com. "But I was also impressed from the film I watched in terms of how Blaine played this year. Both of those players made this an attractive situation."
The issue for the 49ers is the limited options at quarterback on the free agency market and the draft. The chances the 49ers would be able to get someone like Fitzpatrick, Brock Osweiler or Kirk Cousins are slim. They are expected to remain with their respective teams. Sam Bradford will not make himself an option. Robert Griffin III is not an upgrade. The issue is the same with the NFL Draft. ESPN's Todd McShay reported that while Jared Goff, Paxton Lynch and Carson Wentz are the highest-rated, they are not guaranteed for any success. They might not be ready to lead a team.
According to the Sacramento Bee, the 49ers favor retaining Kaepernick, but if the quarterback is truly unhappy they might not have another choice. The team has flexibility with the success of Gabbert last season. He proved he can handle the starting job and get wins for the team. If the 49ers have enough confidence in Gabbert, they could let Kaepernick go and draft a rookie to develop. That might not be the most enticing move for fans, but it could set the team up for long-term success. Kelly must decide how patient he is willing to be.